Northwestern University (Northwestern)

Your Opinion: Is this School Hard to Get Into?
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Northwestern University can be found in Evanston, IL, a nonprofit private college which focuses on only a select few programs offered. Northwestern University enrolls nearly twenty one thousand students annually.

An ACT or SAT exam may be required before applying to this college. Scores in the range of 2080 (25th percentile) to 2320 (75th percentile) for the SAT exam and in the range of 31 (25th percentile) to 34 (75th percentile) for the ACT exam is common among applicants admitted to Northwestern University. We were able to estimate the Northwestern average GPA (3.90 - 4) of admitted students by applying sampled GPA data on over 150 schools. The competition to get accepted at this school runs high, given that only 20 percent of students who applied are granted admission to the school. Based on historical acceptance rate data, the projected Northwestern acceptance rate 2015 is estimated to be 20%. You can get more information from the admissions office website at

Overall Northwestern Acceptance Rate - Fall 2012


The overall acceptance rate for Northwestern University was reported as 15.3% in Fall 2012 with over 32,100 college applications submitted to this school. Both in state and out of state applicants are included in these figures. We do not have data on transfer acceptance rates currently.

Accepted Applicants Profile

  • Northwestern SAT Scores: 2080 - 2320
  • Northwestern ACT Scores: 31 - 34
  • Northwestern Average GPA: 3.90 - 4

How Hard Is It to Get into Northwestern University?

Applicant Selectivity: High

The selectivity of applicants for undergraduate admissions to Northwestern University is considered high, with many applicants scoring in the top percentiles on the SAT or ACT exam, as well as having an excellent high school GPA.

Historical Trend and Acceptance Rate 2021 Projection

The historical trend chart shows acceptance rates from the previous years, from which we have projected the acceptance rate for the 2021-2022 school year. The overall acceptance rate trend for Northwestern University has been on a downward trend over the past few years.

Acceptance Rate By Year

  • 2008-2009: 26.2%
  • 2009-2010: 27.1%
  • 2010-2011: 23.1%
  • 2011-2012: 18.0%
  • 2012-2013: 15.3%
  • Projected Northwestern Acceptance Rate 2021-2022: 19.5%

How Does Northwestern Compare?

This School
National Avg

The acceptance rate for Northwestern is more than 100% lower than the national average of all colleges which is around 55.5%.

Nearby Similar College Acceptance Rates

SchoolAcceptance Rate
Loyola University Chicago91.4%
Northeastern Illinois University60.1%
DePaul University59.9%
University of Illinois at Chicago71.4%

Admissions Rates & Enrollment Rates - Details

General Recommendations & Requirements for Admissions

  • High School GPA Scores are Required
  • High School Class Rankings are Recommended
  • School Records are Required
  • College Prep Classes are Required
  • Submit Recommendation Letters are Required
  • Standardized Test Scores (SAT,ACT,...) are Required
  • TOEFL Exam (Foreign Language Students) are Required

Number of Applicants, Percent Accepted, and Enrolled Students (Fall 2012)


Average ACT/SAT Scores of Applicants to Northwestern (Fall 2012)

SAT® SectionScore Range
Critical Reading690 - 760
Math700 - 790
Writing690 - 770
Total Score2080 - 2320
ACT®Score Range
English32 - 35
Math30 - 35
Composite Score31 - 34
To learn more about the data and calculations that power this site, please visit our data discussion page.